A swooning burst of grooves, good vibes and rugged sheen, the brand new track Out Of My Hands from an almighty team up between Wollongong indie poppers Pirra and Aussie music icon Tim Wheatley is more irresistible than ice cream on a summer’s day. Infectious, buoyant and effortlessly charming, Out Of My Hands also gifts an insight into Pirra’s upcoming new album Spirals which will officially release on Friday September 30 via BLK&WHT Records. Fans can also catch Pirra busting out their sumptuous tunes in September and October, with appearances confirmed at Jungle Love Festival in Queensland, sets at Listen Out festivals in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and, on the very day of their new album release, a performance at Relish Festival Bellingen Australia alongside the likes of Winston Surfshirt, Ash Grunwald and The Black Seeds.


New single Out Of My Hands showcases Pirra in peak form, with the bubbly ballad fusing the Wollongong quartet’s signature grooves and affable arrangements, with the smooth addition of singer-songwriter Tim Wheatley. Complete with jangly guitars, a bouncy bassline and contrasting vocal interplay between Pirra lead singer Jess Beck’s silk and the raw yet lush stylings of Tim, Out Of My Hands also sees Pirra step slightly ajar from the electronic hues seen on the group’s earlier singles, while also completing the track with Tim remotely, as vocalist Jess elaborates, “Out Of My Hands is a slower burn than our last few dancy tracks, so it’s always exciting to see what the people think. It’s always fun when it’s a collab too, and working with Tim has been a great experience. It didn’t matter that Tim was on the other side of the world in London, when we got his vocal stems sent over we just knew he was the perfect fit for this track”.


Coming to life during lockdown, Out Of My Hands was produced by Pirra’s own Curtis Agent and James McKendry, with the band recording everything on the track, except the drums and Tim’s vocals, from home. Inspired by the laidback yet bold tendencies of artists like Matt Corby and Gorillaz, it is also the soul and pop ways of New Zealand band Leisure that collectively influenced the end result of Out Of My Hands, alongside some ambiguous relationship thematics, as James explains, “Out Of My Hands came about during the first lockdown, we’d been listening to the band Leisure quite a bit and were really digging the way they write. At the time I’d set myself a goal to write songs with just a guitar and voice to try and avoid over-producing things to cover up dodgy songwriting. It’s loosely about a tense relationship, but I like keeping it vague and letting the listener fill in their own gaps”.


Never ones to stay static in their sonic endeavours, Out Of My Hands is one of twelve tracks lying in wait on the group’s forthcoming new album Spirals, a dazzling follow up to the group’s 2017 debut LP Animal Kingdom. Opening with the ethereal synth jam Your Street, Spirals entices you into an eclectic and oscillating journey of neon dancefloor fillers (Night Time Special), summer festival anthems (Blue Giant), luscious, billowing indie gems (Out In The Air) and simmering slow burns (Bleeding). Equally immersive alongside Pirra’s dexterous handling on various genres are potent sonic throwbacks set against forward-facing hues, including their track Deep Dive featuring Cumbiafrica who have just come off the back of a double gold certified global hit Morenita amassing over 70 million streams, and PNAU-adjacent vibes pulsing on the fluent feel-good bop that is Stealing From Tomorrow. But amongst the stylistic shifts and diverse flair on offer throughout Spirals, a sharp sense of cohesion and painstaking care is ultimately at the forefront; and it’s this beckoning assortment of musical moments, including the long-held title track and lead single Spirals itself, that Pirra are more than ready to share with the world, as James explains, “Being eclectic has always been an interesting topic for us and the source of a few arguments. There’s the idea that you should make a cohesive product, and there’s also the idea that it’s just about the songs. There’s plenty of examples of artists doing both so I guess we just do what feels right for the time. It’s been a few years since Animal Kingdom and we’ve been itching to do a second album for ages now. As a musician you tend to want to release songs as soon as you write them, so doing singles can feel pretty constipated but that’s just how the industry works, and it feels great to be able to present what we’ve been working on. We’ve pushed to have as many new songs on the album as possible. The oldest track on the album is Spirals which was written by Jess and Curt at least five years ago. It was in the live set for a while and has had about 3 or 4 different versions done, so it will be great to let it free in the world”.


Named for the Luritja Nation word for “moon’ following the group forming during university, Pirra have continually turned heads with their striking and danceable indie pop. Working over the years with the likes of producer Roy Kerr, who has worked with London Grammar and AURORA, Konstantin Kersting, the producer behind the Tones & I hit Dance Monkey, Davide Rossi, who masterminded the string arrangements for Coldplay and The Verve, PNAU’s Sam Littlemore, and Greg Calbi of Tame Impala and Arcade Fire fame, Pirra have become one of Australia’s most exciting acts, with their breakout 2019 hit Under The Skyline also nabbing sync placement on Netflix’s Terrace House. With previous high-profile festival appearances at Surry Hills, Sydney Festival, Newtown Festival and Australian Music Week, Pirra’s live show is also now the stuff of legends, with the group’s impending live performances set to feature, as Jess perfectly puts it: “Irresistible beats and energetic performances delivering soaring songs that will hypnotise you into letting your hair down”.


A labour of love, ingenuity and ambition, Spirals is set to catapult the Wollongong quartet further into the ears and souls of old and new fans alike, and Out Of My Hands is the perfect appetiser for more Pirra goodness still to come in 2022. And while a global pandemic and ongoing hurdles may have thrown setbacks into the mix for musicians across the globe, Pirra set their sights firmly on proactivity and positivity against the odds to conjure Spirals, as Jess concludes, “Rather than get down about all of the show cancellations due to the “C” word and then the rain, it was time to get as productive as possible. In addition to the songwriting, James and Curt put a lot of time into the production and mixing and so it makes the release even more special”.


Out Of My Hands is out today, Friday July 29.

Spirals is set for release on Friday September 30 via BLK&WHT Records.





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Listen: Out Of My Hands

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Internationally acclaimed artist Amy Sheppard is packaging up her pop stylings and fusing them with country influences, today releasing her debut solo single Nothing But Wild. While definitely not her first official foray into the genre, previously already a Golden Guitar Award winner for her vocals on Lee Kernaghan’s Spirit of the Anzacs, Nothing But Wild offers an up-tempo and affably jangly stomper that fans can also catch in action this weekend at the Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival and KIX Live in the Park, as well as CMC Rocks QLD later this year.

Nothing But Wild gifts the perfect salve for those who have had their wanderlust evaporate throughout the global pandemic, as travel and leaving one’s own four walls have become distant memories over the past few years. Infused with plenty of country-pop flair, Nothing But Wild also sees Amy stylistically explore deeper into hues of sparkling zest and sharp warmth, with plenty of driving beats, smooth melodics and catchy hooks helmed emphatically by Amy’s powerful lilts. Delving beyond her storied tenure fronting the multi-platinum selling band Sheppard, this triumphant solo project has, in fact, been multiple years in the making, with Amy embracing the hurdles that have accompanied her professionally, while also proudly displaying her seasoned songwriting and charming sense of adventure, as Amy elaborates, “Nothing But Wild explores my innate desire to regularly escape the city in order to reconnect with my wild side and natural surroundings. Having a sense of adventure and having someone to enjoy it with invigorates my soul and reminds me of what’s important in life: love, nature and spontaneity. I’ve tried to blend my favourite elements of both the pop world and the country world. I love storytelling, rich harmonies and finding a blend of the live and midi which I find to be captivating whilst still holding authenticity.”

Evolving from a gradual and collaborative process, Nothing But Wild has also emerged from Amy’s previous experience writing and singing with artists like Kasey Chambers, The Wolfe Brothers, Lindsay Rimes and Phil Barton. And drawing inspiration from some stellar country pop queens like Kasey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Taylor Swift, Amy knew early on in the process that she was onto something special with this brand new track, as she continues, “I wrote Nothing But Wild in Nashville with Lindsay Rimes (an Aussie songwriter/producer based in Nashville) and Trannie Anderson (Nashville songwriter). It felt so natural and fun to write, I instantly knew it was going to be the lead single.”

Branching out on her own as a solo artist, and reinvigorated as a country pop star in the making, Amy has spent the past three years writing and building towards this debut solo release. And while a country turn on her own may seem somewhat distant from conjuring pop earworms with her siblings and garnering over one-billion combined song streams under the Sheppard moniker, Amy has always had a special place in her heart for country flavours – and she’s only just getting started, as she explains, “I actually grew up listening to a lot of country music. My father is a MEGA country music fan and growing up he always had CMC on the TV. He used to blast country music to wake us up in the morning. In the 90’s, my idols were Shania Twain, Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes, to name a few. As a member of Sheppard, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend most of my career in the pop world, but along the way we’ve also spent some time in the country music world and we have in fact won a Golden Guitar Award thanks to Lee Kernaghan including us in ‘The Spirit of the ANZACs’ single. We’ve played many country music festivals and rodeos and the thought of entering the country music scene has been on my mind for as long as I can remember. I’m finally doing it.

Be sure to catch Amy Sheppard live in all her solo glory, Friday April 22, in Tamworth for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as Saturday April 23 in Tamworth for KIX live In The Park. Amy will also appear onstage in Queensland this September as part of CMC Rocks QLD.

Nothing But Wild is out now.

Listen: Nothing But Wild
Watch: Nothing But Wild (behind the scenes video teaser)

AMY SHEPPARD – NOTHING BUT WILD – Official single artwork


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Melbourne’s newest indie pop master Ryan Meeking has today shared his fresh cinematic single Endless Run. An evocative work, set within the joyous bloom of festival party culture, Endless Run is rich with euphoric abandon. Its visceral, multi-layered rhythm celebrates a summer to end all summers, its engaging lyrics highlighting the intense relationships that follow.

Meeking has released a stunningly bold video to accompany the track, inspired by human movement and directed by filmmaker and photographer Rick Clifford (Ainslie Wills, Bad Pony, Tori Forsyth). After having his music featured on massive television shows such as Suits, So You Think You Can Dance USA and Teen Wolf, Ryan Meeking (Whitaker, Gossling) is moving from one musical world to the next with this standout pop gem. And he’ll be celebrating the release with a launch show at Small Time (Brunswick) on August 12, tickets are available now.

Endless Run feels like just like its namesake – an infinite, beautiful journey into the unknown, characterised by an undeniable groove; Meeking’s cool, calm voice; clever melodies; and sharp, concise production. The track has influences of Jack Garrett, Gotye, and Benee, but feels particularly unique to Meeking and speaks to years spent intently, passionately studying pop writing. Co-produced and engineered by Sam Swain (Josh Cashman, Obscura Hail) and mastered by Randy Merrill (Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber), Endless Run is a heady, all-encompassing track. Meeking explains: “You’re in the festival crowd. Drink it in. Your friends, thousands of others, the music, the party, the complete loss of any sense of time and space – and who cares: the community in that. Everything is now, everything is amazing and its just the beginning. Welcome to your Endless Run.”

The video for Endless Run is a brilliant spectacle of light and movement, somehow both nostalgic and futuristic all at once. Meeking dances alone in this colourful world, and the result is hypnotic. Speaking on how the clip was developed – Meeking explains, “We knew we wanted to place the clip in a ‘nowhere’ space, an unnatural world created especially for the audience – like all my new music to come – so we took a risk on a rare new piece of lighting tech to get us there and it totally paid off. In fact, it really took on a character and life of its own. This is also the first time I’ve worked on music and really thought about how it sat in my body, so we went through a bunch of ideas on how to put human movement at the centre of the clip. In the end, nothing made more sense than what you see. A peppering of strange sci-fi vibes, some Rick Clifford magic, and we had a clip for Endless Run.”

Endless Run is another stellar addition to Ryan Meeking’s glowing and diverse discography, one which demonstrates his lifelong pursuit of music and art, and dedication to his craft, as he describes, “I talk a lot about music production because it’s something I’m incredibly drawn to, but nothing matters to me more than the song. So making music is always a balance between these two elements. My affinity with music started with my grandparents’ piano and took root in the theatre, watching family perform in musicals like Les Misérables. Something about that art form stuck with me – the bare, honest storytelling set to intricate, clever composition – music that doesn’t hold back. I don’t write for the theatre, but those qualities are something I’ve never escaped chasing in my own music. I guess I always think, ‘Why limit anything if the song can carry it?’ Making Endless Run was no exception.”

Endless Run is out July 14.
Tickets to the Small Time launch show on August 12 are available now.

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